Absorption Rate

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DEFINITION of 'Absorption Rate'

The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. It is calculated by dividing the total number of available homes by the average number of sales per month. The figure shows how many months it will take to exhaust the supply of homes on the market. A high absorption rate may indicate that the supply of available homes will shrink rapidly, increasing the odds that a homeowner will sell a piece of property in a shorter period of time.

BREAKING DOWN 'Absorption Rate'

For example, suppose that a city has 1,000 homes currently on the market to be sold. If buyers snap up 100 homes per month, the supply of homes will be exhausted in 10 months (1,000 homes divided by 100 homes sold per month). If a homeowner is looking to sell a piece of property, he knows that half of the market will be sold out in five months. This rate does not take in to account additional homes that enter the market. The absorption rate can also be a signal to developers to start building new homes.

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